And pulling back from my own (relatively low-key) problems for a moment. Better Help Conference…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems escalating amongst under-30s? With cuts to mental health services actually starting to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young adults who already filter nearly every aspect of their lives– buddies, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is totally persuaded that shifting psychological health care online is the method forward. “You get to understand not just what it’s like to talk to the individual, but how it feels to be in a space with them.
” I’ve carried out some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘functional equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s just not quite the exact same thing. It’s really important that individuals who take part in it know that it’s a various experience from remaining in the room with someone, speaking in person.”
” In terms of availability, it’s a great start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to eventually showing up in the room. If you’re having a hard time with relationship problems, accessory problems, or much deeper problems, it’s better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the web provides a distance from your counsellor that might not be valuable.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes rather than face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.